How to let people off the hook

Matthew 22:37

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.

 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

When Jesus pointed out these commandments to the Pharisees, He was doing His best to show them their need for a Savior. He wanted them to recognize that they were unable to fulfill them, and He wanted them to become free from the curse of trying and failing.

We, like they, labor under the same curse. We cannot meet God’s standard! Without even trying to be that way, our nature is to oppose God. As humans, we cannot pass that test, because the nature of sin turns us in the direction of selfishness, rather than love for God.  

Sin makes us spiritually bankrupt. We simply have nothing to give. We are empty of love, until we let God’s love into our hearts. We can only love Him because He first loved us. We can be set free, because Jesus took the test on our behalf and now we are declared perfect because He is perfect.

As we accept the immense love that God has for us, the same love that He has for Jesus, we live free from the curse of the law. We live a life of love. We live the life of Jesus on the Earth.

Living a life of love does not exempt us from trial and temptation. Each one of us comes with baggage and imperfection. Don’t get confused and attribute your status before God to your own account.

The corruption inside of each one of us is like the worm inside of an apple. The worm did not burrow its way into the apple, it was conceived in the blossom and hatched at its core, just as human beings were born with a sin nature, before they made a single choice for good or bad. The apple looks perfect on the outside until the worm decides to come out!

As humans, we can look perfect, but if we live a little while longer, I can guarantee you that we will have our turn for the worm to come out. That is why, when it is our friend’s turn to show his or her dumbness or inadequacy, we don’t talk ugly or be judgmental. We restore gently according to the scripture., because our turn is coming! (Galatians 6:1)

We don’t exploit someone else’s situation; we demonstrate the love of God. The experience of falling will be very different if we fall among those who exploit our mistakes and failures. When the Prodigal Son fell, the devastating thing for him was that he fell among thieves. I can guarantee you that we will all have our turn at doing something dumb, but the difference will be made by who we fall among.

Will you be an agent of love today? Will you show love for God and love for others? If you feel the need to compete with those around you, you will probably exploit their failings, but if you remember how God loved you when you didn’t deserve it, your heart will soften towards those who have done the wrong thing. Will you let God use you today to be someone’s healing and restoration?


Heavenly Father, thank you for rescuing me from the curse of the law. Thank you that Jesus became a curse for me, so that I could live His life of love and power here on the Earth. Today I choose not to judge and exploit others who are down, even when I can see their fault and their mistake. Today I choose to demonstrate love and to give others a hand up. Today I believe that you empower me afresh to be merciful and kind and to show love, because you first loved me. Thank you, Lord!

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5 Comments on How to let people off the hook

  1. It is well Pastor! Awesome word and a great reminder

  2. O Heavenly Father, may your Holy Spirit teach us how to love

  3. Sophia Adodo // February 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm // Reply

    Amen. This is such a blessing

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